Google Goes After Microsoft – Again

Google has plans for an open-source OS for netbooks – something Microsoft will not be able to ignore

Google has announced that it intends to develop a Chrome-based operating system for the fastest growing section of the PC market, netbooks. The OS will be available in the second half of next year.

Netbook owners will be able to use the system for things such as browsing the internet, sending emails and word processing, so it will be suitable for personal use and small businesses. However, the next step forward from the netbook is the desktop, and Google will probably release a version for that medium soon after the netbook format is released.

There has been no mention of price, which means in all likelihood it will be free. Previous Google product business models involve advertising and this is the route they will take with this operating system. They will also want you to use their other services for marketing purposes, which will somehow be converted into dollars, or information that can be sold to advertisers.

So does Microsoft have cause for concern with the affect this will have on the Windows license fee (or “tax” as some users call it) that comes with new netbooks? Yes and no. Technology is a fast-moving beast and people are fickle. If users can get something for free, they’ll no doubt take it. But there is the fact that the new Google OS, initially, will not be as functional as its Windows 7 counterpart, which is launching in October this year – something we’re sure Microsoft will be announcing loud and clear to all its customers.

As for the practicalities of the Google OS, the company has said it will be redesigning the security architecture to deal with spyware, malware and other viruses, that can affect the running of the system.

Some analysts say Google are quick to get excited about a project – such as Google Video, Dodgeball and Jaiku – only to stop working on it soon after and there are already discussions floating around messageboards that this may happen again. However, with the netbook market currently growing at 25 percent a year, and the success of its Android OS for mobile phones, we’re thinking Google is in this for the long haul.

By Charlie Brown